The Perfect Hot Dog: Getting Frank with Bon Appétit's Adam Rapoport

The Perfect Hot Dog: Getting Frank with Bon Appétit's Adam Rapoport
Last night's dinner. Photo credit: Show Me Chicago
Bon Appétit's editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport

Bon Appétit’s editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport

Bon Appétit’s editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport was in our town this weekend for Chicago Gourmet’s annual bash in Millennium Park where I talked with him about, what else but, hot dogs—the perfect hot dog.

As a kid who grew up eating 7-Eleven hot dogs during his high school years, Adam readily admits that he never gave hot dogs much thought.

That all changed about 20 years ago when Chicago turned Rapoport’s hot dog world upside down. It was on his first visit to Wieners Circle–a Chicago emporium known for its abrasive service as well as its famous hot dogs–that he sank his teeth into the revered Chicago dog.

At that time, the East Coast native thought Heinz ketchup and some yellow mustard was all the dressing his Oscar Mayer wiener needed. (Yes, he used the k word, a Chicago no, no.  It wasn’t easy but I let it slide since he now knows better).

He told me that Wieners Circle opened his mind to a world of new possibilities and turned him into a fan not only of the Chicago dog but a hot dog connoisseur. Over the years, Rapoport has experimented with a wide variety of toppings, buns and dogs finally creating his perfect dog.

I recreated his hot dog recipe last night (pictured above) along with some hand-cut fries.  It was excellent. Not quite as comforting and re-assuring as the Classic Chicago dog–but very satisfying.

So here without further ado is Adam Rapoport’s recipe for what I have named:

“The Chicago Dog With an East Coast Accent”

  • The bun: A top-split, white bread bun either with or without poppy seeds
  • The dog: Must be char-grilled, all-beef, a “good” brand that has snap
  • The toppings: Dijon mustard, homemade coleslaw, fresh ripe avocado and a fresh cucumber spear


For other Rapoport recipes including his recipe for homemade coleslaw check out: The Grilling Book by Adam Rapoport, Editor- in-Chief of Bon Appétit Magazine.

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